February ~ 2019 ~ Anglican-Roman Catholic news & opinion
An ecumenical appeal for the return of the mummified head of an 800-year-old body known as “The Crusader” has been made by the Anglican and Roman Catholic Archbishops of Dublin. The head was stolen during a raid on the crypt of St Michan’s Church in Dublin at the weekend. The crypt, a popular tourist attraction, contained other mummified remains, including the 400-year-old remains of a nun, which were also vandalised in the attack. Since news of the attack first broke earlier this week, it has emerged that the intruders also broke into the family vault of William Rowan Hamilton, the 19th-century mathematician whose studies paved the way for quantum theory and stole another skull.
Yesterday (Wednesday) the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic Archbishops of Dublin, Michael Jackson and Diarmuid Martin, made a joint visit to the crypt to see the damage alongside Assistant Garda (police) Commissioner Pat Leahy. Afterwards, they issued a joint appeal for the return of the remains.
Thieves have stolen the head from an 800-year-old mummified body, known as “The Crusader” from the crypt of a church in the Irish capital Dublin. The vandals responsible also damaged other human remains in the attack on St Michan’s Church in Church Street, Dublin. The church is a popular tourist destination attracting visitors who come to see the mummified remains in the crypt. The vandalism was discovered shortly before lunchtime today (Monday) as volunteers were preparing to open the crypt for visitors.
In a statement, the Church of Ireland said that the body of The Crusader was overturned and its head taken. They say that the crypt was badly damaged and other remains, including the 400-year-old remains of a nun, were desecrated in the attack.
“I am shocked that someone would target this ancient burial place and desecrate the remains of those lying within it”, the Archbishop of Dublin, Michael Jackson, said. “Not only have these individuals desecrated the sacred crypt but they have destroyed these historic mummies which have been preserved in St Michan’s for hundreds of years.
“I would appeal to those responsible to examine their consciences and return the head of The Crusader to its rightful place.”